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Appleton steers Leicester to victory at Swansea

Swansea City 1:2 Leicester City

Swansea City v Leicester City, Premier League, 21 October 2017

Caretaker manager Michael Appleton led City to a fine 2-1 win against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday…

Appleton made one change to Craig Shakespeare’s final starting line-up, bringing Okazaki in for Iheanacho, as City took on the Swans on a wet and windy afternoon in South Wales.

Swansea City v Leicester City, Premier League, 21 October 2017

And the side immediately looked more positive than they had in recent weeks, with Okazaki’s glancing header forcing Fabianski into a save in the first minute.
The Swansea keeper was called into action again in the 9th minute, when Okazaki teed up Albrighton for a shot that was tipped over the bar.
City were dealing well with Swansea attacks and looking lively up front, and Fabianski made further saves from a Vardy shot and and an off-the-shoulder effort from Ndidi.
City underlined their superiority, taking the lead in the 25th minute. Mahrez retrieved the ball from the goal line, and the home side appeared to switch off, expecting a goal kick. The Algerian international delivered a dangerous cross from the left and Fernandez sent a diving header across Fabianski and into the net.
Swansea had a decent spell after falling behind, and a Narsingh cross deflected off Simpson but was claimed by Schmeichel at the foot of the post.
Despite a series of corners, the Swans failed to trouble City, who took their lead in with them at the break.

Swansea City v Leicester City, Premier League, 21 October 2017

Four minutes into the second half, City doubled their lead with Okazaki getting the reward for his huge efforts.
Albrighton swung over a ball to pick out Mahrez on the edge of the six yard box, again the Swans defence hesitated appealing for offside, and Mahrez cushioned a pass for Okazaki to stab home from close in.
City’s two goal lead only lasted until the 56th minute, however.
A poor corner from the left by Renato Sanches was turned into a good one by Ayew’s back heel, and it found Mawson, whose shot on the turn found the bottom right hand corner.
Swansea had their tails up for a while, but rarely threatened Schmeichel’s goal, with an off target header from Abraham, and a long range effort from Naughton that flew well over.
King replaced Okazaki in the 68th minute as Appleton shored up a midfield that had seen a fantastic performance from Iborra, now finding his feet in the Premier League.

Swansea City v Leicester City, Premier League, 21 October 2017

City could have wrapped things up with fifteen minutes left, but Vardy was denied by Fabianski in a one-on-one chance.
Swansea pressed forward with increasing desperation, but didn’t create any clear cut chances, a Routledge shot into the side-netting being the closest they came.
So the final whistle saw City’s second win of the season and a leapfrog out of the relegation zone up to 13th place.
It had been a hugely encouraging display, with some superb moments from Mahrez, solid defending, and effective attacking on the break.
The fans who had made the long trip in the face of ‘Storm Brian’ celebrated victory, though a ‘RUDKIN OUT’ banner reflected what some of them thought about recent events at the club.
Michael Appleton commented: “It’s been a difficult week for everyone – especially myself because of my relationship with Craig. This was an opportunity to put on a performance and make people feel a bit better. I was pleased with the first half – the way we moved the ball and went forward. And even when we conceded a sloppy goal, the way we saw out the game was very good.” 

Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Renato Sanches (Routledge 78), Britton (Ki Sung-yueng 45), Carroll, Narsingh (Dyer 56), Abraham, Ayew. Substitutes: van der Hoorn, Nordfeldt, Clucas, Rangel.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Morgan, Maguire, Fuchs, Mahrez (Gray 87), Ndidi, Iborra, Albrighton, Okazaki (King 68), Vardy. Substitutes: Chilwell, Iheanacho, Hamer, Amartey, Slimani.
Referee: Michael Oliver. Attendance: 20,521.

PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.


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Toothless Foxes seen off by Swans

Swansea City 2:0 Leicester City


Leicester plumbed new depths in their nightmare start to 2017, going down 2-0 to Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday evening…

Claudio Ranieri made two changes from the last Premier League outing, with Gray and Albrighton in for Musa and Okazaki, against a resurgent Swansea side.
Swansea applied some early pressure with a free-kick and a couple of corners, during which former City-loanee Dyer had to limp out of the action.
City hit the Swans on the break a couple of times, but an Ndidi shot was blocked and Mawson intercepted a dangerous Vardy ball to Gray.
City were chasing down well at the midway stage of the half and Vardy and Gray both had shots blocked. But the home side began to press as half time approached.
Schmeichel produced a fine save to block a Routledge volley and then Sigurdsson sent a long range effort narrowly wide.


Swansea broke the deadlock in the 36th minute. A free-kick from the centre-circle was launched forward, Huth got his head to the ball, but Fernandez immediately returned it into the the penalty area and an unmarked Mawson fired a thumping volley home.
This was bad news for a side who hadn’t scored a Premier League goal since New Years Eve, and things got worse in first half time-added-on.
Sigurdsson’s incisive ball set up Olsson on the left for a fierce shot that beat Schmeichel at his near post.

The second half began with Slimani and Chilwell on for Albrighton and Fuchs.
City still looked very subdued however, and Schmeichel had to be alert to save another long range shot from Sigurdsson.
City finally carved out a chance in the 63rd minute when Mahrez sent Slimani in on goal, but he couldn’t beat Fabianski who had come swiftly off his line to meet him.


City pressed forward again, and good work from Gray saw the ball delivered into the box, but after some pinball, Ndidi fired a shot well over.
Time was running out for a City comeback and when a decent move involving Ndidi and Slimani teed up Vardy, he sliced his shot as the defenders closed in.


The last faltering attempts to get forward came to nothing and City had lost their fifth league game in a row, failing to score in over ten hours hours of play.
Without dropping into the relegation zone, City are now in serious danger of relegation and something has to change.
Claudio Ranieri hinted that could now happen: “Of course I must change something because it is not possible to continue in this way.
It is difficult when you achieve something so good you want to give them one chance, two chances, three chances. Maybe now it is too much.”

Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Mawson, Olsson, Fer, Cork, Carroll, Dyer (Routledge 7), Llorente (Ayew 72), Sigurdsson, Routledge (Narsingh 89). Subs Not Used: Amat, Nordfeldt, Rangel, Kingsley.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson (Amartey 70), Morgan, Huth, Fuchs (Chilwell 46), Mahrez, Drinkwater, Ndidi, Albrighton (Slimani 46), Gray, Vardy. Subs Not Used: Musa, King, Okazaki, Zieler.

Referee: J Moss. Attendance: 20,391. 

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Leicester defeat Swans in a deluge

Leicester City 2:1 Swansea City

1617 swansea home a

City defeated Swansea and the elements to gain their first victory of the season at a stormy King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side with Amartey in for the injured Mendy and they started in lively fashion with Naughton blocking a Vardy shot early on.
Vardy caused more problems for the Swans defence before being brought down by Fernandez just outside the penalty area. The defender was booked and Mahrez sent his free-kick two feet over the bar. Drinkwater then went close but City were frustrated again.
Swansea had little to offer up front and Schmeichel comfortably held a Sigurdsson shot in a rare foray forward.

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City’s opening goal arrived in the 32nd minute. Amartey, staking his place in midfield with a fine performance, won the ball on the edge of City’s area. Then Drinkwater combined with Mahrez before sending a perfectly weighted ball forward for Vardy. The City striker outpaced the Swans defence before blasting his first goal of the season in off the right hand post.
The rest of the game was played out in increasingly heavy rain, with lightning forking through black clouds. Okazaki arrowed a fine towards the top left hand corner but Fabianski was well positioned to tip it away for the last meaningful action of the first half.

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Although Swansea started the second half trying to press forward they were 2-0 down seven minutes after the break.
Albrighton delivered a corner from the right, after an aerial challenge involving four players the ball deflected off Huth and then rolled over Morgan’s shoulder dropping in front of him. The City skipper reacted swiftly to volley it home from 6 yards.
Soon after this City suffered a setback when Schmeichel mis-kicked a clearance into the path of Llorente. The City keeper did very well to race off his line and clear the ball before the Swansea striker could take a second touch but injured himself in the process.
At the other end Vardy was tackled, and Okazaki collected the loose ball in the area but was given a whack on the shin by Amat for an obvious penalty. Mahrez’s spot-kick lacked both pace and direction and Fabianski had a fairly easy save to make.

1617 swansea home b

Schmeichel was then replaced by Zieler, and the rain got even heavier.
The pitch coped very well until the closing stages, when puddles began to appear and water was flying up around the ball. With ten minutes remaining the visitors narrowed City’s lead when Barrow crossed from the right and Fer leapt like a salmon to nod past Zieler.
This made for a nervy last few minutes, but Simpson dealt well with a dangerous ball across the goalmouth and Swansea were struggling to create anything in the worsening conditions.
City broke upfield and after splashing his way into the area Mahrez set himself up for a curling effort which went just wide of the far post.
Fabianski then saved from substitute Musa before the ref’s whistle heralded City’s first win of the season.

Claudio Ranieri tried to play down the rave reviews given to Amartey: “I don’t want to speak of Kante. There is only one – there isn’t another in the world. He has gone and now we need to move on. But Amartey played very, very well. He now knows very well the Premier League. He can play centre-back, central midfielder, right-back, right winger and I am very pleased with him. He played very well, was solid, strong and recovered a lot of balls.”

Leicester: Schmeichel (Zieler 57), Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Amartey, Mahrez, Albrighton (Musa 74), Okazaki (Ulloa, 79) Vardy. Subs Not Used: Chilwell, Hernandez, King, Gray.
Swansea: Fabianski, Amat, Fer, Llorente, Routledge (Ki 59), Barrow, Sigurdsson (Montero 59), Cork (McBurnie 86), Naughton, Fernandez, Kingsley. Subs Not Used: Van Der Hoorn, Nordfelt, Rangel, Fulton.

Referee: R East. Attendance: 31,727.

PHOTO: Simon Kimber

The FOX Summer Special 2016 is a 44 page, all-colour celebration of football’s greatest ever story… Leicester City’s Premier League title win of 2015-16…

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Foxes devour Swans to go 8 points clear

Leicester City 4:0 Swansea City

2015-16 swansea home d

City took a step closer to the title with a convincing 4-0 victory over Swansea at the KPS on Sunday to go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League with just three games to play…

With Vardy suspended, Claudio Ranieri played Ulloa and Okazaki up front , with Schlupp in for Albrighton.
Although Swansea were the first to deliver a ball into the box, it came to nothing, and City were then gifted an 11th minute lead.
Williams’ slightly leisurely clearance struck Mahrez and the Algerian international showed great composure to finish, with Fabianski perhaps expecting a curling effort into the far corner, Mahrez simply fired it in at the near post.
It was the start City needed to calm any nerves, and they never looked back.
With City’s midfield bossing the play, Fuchs and Okazaki both threatened the Swans goal, before City extended their lead on the half hour.
After a battle between Morgan and Routledge out on the left ended with a free-kick to City, Drinkwater delivered a perfect ball into the area for Ulloa to nod home from 6 yards.

2015-16 swansea home a

It was tempting to think ‘game over’ at this stage, but Swansea enjoyed their best spell of the game up to half-time.
But of the two free-kicks their pressure gained, one was headed narrowly over by Fernandez and the other, a shot from Sigurdsson, may have been heading for the post when Schmiechel tipped it round. And so City took a precious 2-0 lead in with them at the break.

Swansea had an early chance in the second half when a well-placed Ayew failed to test Schmeichel with a weak header, but it was all over by the hour mark.
Schlupp charged after a Schmeichel clearance down the left, beating two defenders and cutting in on goal. He unselfishly attempted to square to Ulloa, but Williams blocked. However, the ball fell nicely for Schlupp to cross again and Ulloa slid the ball in at the far post, sparking huge celebrations.

2015-16 swansea home c

Barring an Ayew header into the side-netting, it was one-way traffic now, with City in irresistible form.
Schlupp forced a fine save from Fabianski and miscued a couple of other efforts.
Okazaki fired a shot over the bar, and then King (on for Ulloa who picked up a knock to his back) tested Fabianski again with a low shot.
City’s fourth goal arrived with five minutes remaining. Gray went on a run down the right, and just kept running. At one point it was almost comedic with four Swansea defenders chasing after him. After cutting in, the youngster chipped a ball to the far, post, King headed it back across goal, but Gray’s first time effort was pushed out by Fabianski… only as far as Albrighton who gleefully rifled it home, having only been on the pitch for three minutes.

2015-16 swansea home b

City ended the day eight points clear, knowing that two more wins would seal the club’s first ever title. With every week bringing a new landmark, they now can’t finish outside the top two and, later that evening, Riyad Mahrez was crowned PFA Player of the Season.

Speculation about how City would cope without Vardy had been answered with four goals:
“It was a magnificent performance,” said Claudio. “Without Jamie, everyone else had to give that bit more. It was great to see my players fight. We had some difficulties, but everybody made sure we had a good match. Now it is important for us to make our dreams a reality. Now is the right moment to give everything.”

* Credit where it is due: maybe it was the light and shade effect but referee Mark Clattenburg appeared to come up with the perfect refereeing performance.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Drinkwater, Kanté, Schlupp (Albrighton 82), Mahrez, Okazaki (Gray 73), Ulloa (King 79). Subs Not Used: Schwarzer, Wasilewski, Chilwell, Amartey.
Swansea: Fabianski, Taylor, Williams, Rangel, Fernandez, Britton, Cork, Fer (Paloschi 46), Routledge (Montero 46), Ayew, Sigurdsson (Ki 75). Subs Not Used: Amat, Nordfeldt, Naughton, Barrow.

Referee: M Clattenburg. Attendance: 31,962.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber.


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Leicester go top as Mahrez hat-trick sees off Swans

Swansea City 0:3 Leicester City

2015-16 swans away a

City regained top spot in the Premier League with a 3-0 win at Swansea, thanks to a Riyad Mahrez hat-trick…

Claudio Ranieri made one change to his side for this long trip to South Wales, with Ulloa back in for Okazaki.
City started brightly against a Swans side desperate for a win, and were ahead by the 5th minute.
The persistence of Vardy won a corner on the left, which Albrighton swung into the six yard area. Mahrez gained half a yard on Ki Sung-Yueng and appeared to divert the ball past Fabianski with his hip to give City an early lead.
Ten minutes later the lead should have been doubled as Vardy intercepted a Bartley clearance to go clear on goal. However, he failed to find the net placing his shot too close to Fabianski, who saved comfortably.
City went further ahead in the 22nd minute when Kanté delivered a perfect crossfield pass to send Mahrez in on goal, and he jabbed the ball to Fabianski’s right for a cool finish.
Mahrez should then have completed a first half hat-trick when Ulloa set him up, but his finish was too casual and Fabianski denied him.
Mahrez then returned the favour teeing up Ulloa with a chance but the Argentinian sent his shot well wide from a good position.
City had to be content with a 2-0 lead at the break when it could have been 5-0.

Swansea, with Montero on for Routledge, began the second half in more determined fashion. An early Sigurdsson free-kick from the right was headed against the bar by an unmarked Ki.
Sigurdsson then launched a shot over when well-placed but City weathered this spell of pressure from the home side and were soon running proceedings again.
In the 67th minute they put the game beyond the home side’s reach. Kanté charged forward on the break and fed Vardy in the box, who set up Mahrez, who fired beyond Fabianski’s reach to complete his first ever hat-trick.

2015-16 swans away b

With the match won, the game within a game was trying to set Vardy up for a goal to keep his record breaking scoring run going.
Vardy applied a fantastic first touch to a Drinkwater ball but fired his shot over the bar, and then found the side-netting from an acute angle.
At the other end Schmeichel instinctively blocked a Gomis effort and Sigurdsson’s struck the post.
King and Schlupp came on late, but the fresh legs couldn’t tee Vardy up for a chance and the final whistle brought an end to his incredible run.

However, a Mahrez hat-trick and City returning to the top of the Premier League meant it had been another fantastic day for Leicester in this amazing season.
Claudio Ranieri commented: “It was so pleasing to see that when Jamie had a chance to score, he passed to Mahrez so he could have his hat-trick. It was like giving him a penalty kick, it is a good link between them.
I am so pleased with the performance because I was worried about Swansea. They had only one win in 10 games and wanted to react, so I asked us to stay together and not spread out as they would kill us.”

Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Bartley, Williams, Taylor, Britton (Barrow 63), Ki (Cork 78), Sigurdsson, Ayew, Routledge (Montero 46), Gomis. Subs Not Used: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Fernandez, Cork, Emnes.
Leicester: Schmeichel, Simpson, Huth, Morgan, Fuchs, Mahrez (Schlupp 90), Kanté, Drinkwater, Albrighton, Ulloa (King 87), Vardy. Subs Not Used: Okazaki, Wasilewski, Benalouane, Schwarzer, Inter.

Referee: M Oliver. Attendance: 20,836.


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Leicester on the up after Swansea are beaten at the King Power

Leicester City 2:0 Swansea City

2014-15 swansea home c

City’s revival extended to three consecutive wins after a spirited 2-0 victory over Swansea at the KPS on Saturday…

Nigel Pearson made three changes, with Wasilewski, King and Kramarić coming in. But plans were disrupted during the warm-up when Nugent strained a calf and Ulloa was promoted from the bench.
City were set up to attack and did that from the first whistle – taking the lead after a quarter of an hour.
A long ball forward from Wasilewski was diverted by Morgan into the path of Ulloa who gleefully slotted it home from 8 yards.

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2014-15 swansea home b

Soon after that opening goal had raised the crowd to a new pitch of excitement, Albrighton made good progress through the Swans defence but couldn’t apply the finishing touch, sending his shot wide of the left hand post.
The visitors had their first on target effort when a Sigurdsson shot was comfortably fielded by Schmeichel.
They then gained more possession up to the break, but didn’t come close to an equaliser.

Pearson brought De Laet on for Wasilewski for the second half as City went for the jugular again.
Albrighton and Kramarić both went close before Ulloa sent a header just over the bar, but Swansea also threatened.
Schmeichel produced a fine block with his left leg to deny Oliveira in a one-on-one and then got down well to a Shelvey effort to preserve City’s lead.
Pearson then brought on Mahrez for Ulloa and Drinkwater for Kramarić.
From a Swansea corner City broke upfield at pace and Vardy fed Mahrez perhaps slightly too late allowing Fabiański to come out and block his effort.
City broke again when Drinkwater sent Vardy clear on goal, and he was bundled over by Williams for a clear cut penalty, but yet again this season the ref didn’t agree.
Vardy sent a shot over and then Mahrez forced a good save from Fabiański with a low shot as the tension mounted in the final ten minutes. That was finally relieved with a minute left on the clock when City doubled their lead.
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Cambiasso, who had been superb all afternoon, fired a 20 yard free-kick through the wall which seemed to deceive Fabiański at the last moment. It bounced back off his knee to King who bundled it over the line from close in to get the KPS bouncing.
For the first time since November City were off the bottom of the Premier League and after some jubilant scenes at the end of the game Nigel Pearson urged some caution: “The danger is that people start believing that the job is done. It is far from it; there’s still a long way to go. We have still got six games left and we have to get as many points as possible from them, which is going to be a big challenge.”

Leicester: Schmeichel, Huth, Wasilewski (De Laet 46), Morgan, Schlupp, King, Cambiasso, Albrighton, Ulloa (Mahrez 68), Vardy, Kramarić (Drinkwater 74). Subs Not Used: Konchesky, James, Lawrence, Schwarzer.
Swansea: Fabiański, Amat, Ki (Montero 58), Williams, Shelvey, Routledge (Dyer 70), Oliveira (Emnes 75), Rangel, Sigurdsson, Cork, Fernández. Subs Not Used: Britton, Grimes, Tremmel, Bartley.
Referee: L Probert. Attendance: 31,121.

ALL PHOTOS: Simon Kimber

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Leicester’s poor run continues at Swansea

Swansea City 2:0 Leicester City

City’s recent poor run extended to 1 point out of 12 as two goals from Bony gave Swansea a comfortable victory at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening…
Nigel Pearson made four changes to his side with Vardy, Nugent, Mahrez and Hammond in for James, Cambiasso, Albrighton and Schlupp.
Swansea made all the early running against a disjointed looking City side, though their first real chance chance from a miscued ball out from Schmeichel. The City keeper gifted the ball to Sigurdsson, but Morgan managed to nip in with a precise ball-winning challenge as the Icelander lined up his shot.
The Swans’ dominance finally bore fruit in the 35th minute when superb passing move led to Sigurdsson setting up Bony for a precise finish past Schmeichel.
With City producing very little going forward it was difficult to see how they could haul themselves back into the game, though they went close soon after the break. A long throw from Moore out on the right bounced right into the six yard area, and Shelvey got a touch before it looped over Fabianski and on to the crossbar.
Mahrez then sent a shot well over before Drinkwater forced a good save from Fabianski, as City enjoyed their best spell of the game.
But any hopes of a comeback were extinguished in the 57th minute when Bony grabbed a second after being teed up by Montero, as City’s marking broke down.
Shelvey then struck the crossbar with a fierce 30 yarder, before Mahrez sent a low effort inches wide of the post.
 The 67th minute saw a triple-substitution for the visitors with King, James and Cambiasso on for Vardy, Hammond and Drinkwater.
But they rarely troubled the Swans.
One chance late on saw Fabianski save from King, but then Cambiasso could only find the woodwork from inches out and the keeper scooped the ball to safety.
It was another poor outing for City, who now face a November schedule against lower placed sides that must yield at least 6 points if they aren’t to find themselves in trouble.
Swansea: Fabianski, Taylor, Ki, Williams, Shelvey, Bony (Gomis 82), Routledge (Dyer 82), Montero, Rangel, Sigurdsson (Carroll 57), Fernandez. Subs Not Used: Tremmel, Emnes, Bartley, Shepherd.
Leicester: Schmeichel, De Laet, Konchesky, Drinkwater (Cambiasso 67), Morgan, Hammond (King 67), Vardy (James 67), Moore, Ulloa, Mahrez, Nugent. Subs Not Used: Schlupp, Wasilewski, Smith, Wood.
Referee: M Jones. Attendance: 20,259.

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